At the regional level, the engagement of QS agencies in Southeast Asia is not a new approach based on the imkoon of the Bologna process in Europe, which was the first example of the integration of higher education into the regionalism agenda (Morshidi, Azman and Abu Bakar, 2014). Criticism of regionalism can lead to uniformity or standardization in the higher education systems of participating countries (Morshidi et al., 2014, p. 2). Of course, this would go against Malaysia`s ambition for its higher education system to reflect excellence and attract students not only inside but also outside the country. Such a “normalizing” perspective can be questioned, however, because regionalization, based on the idea of building regional coherence in Down and services, trade and facilitation of human and non-human trade does not imply dual activity (Globalhighe, 2014). As Morshidi et al. (2014) notes, regionalism offers authorities and authorities in all countries the opportunity to make a contribution, communicate and share with each other for the good of all. Indeed, commentators of regionalism believe that the most practical form of regionalism is a form that can accommodate a number of national and cultural identities (Morshidi et al. 2014). The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation5 (SAARC) consists of seven countries: Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
The SAARC Preferential Trading Arrangement (SAPTA), signed in April 1993, created a regional trading bloc among these members, providing limited access to Member States` export markets. Table 2.2 sets out the terms of the tariff concessions proposed by all States Parties until the end of the third round. The ASEAN Universities Network (AUN), of which Malaysia was a founding member, is creating a regional disaster prevention, emergency aid and rehabilitation response mechanism to ensure an immediate response to these goals. The emphasis on internal quality assurance and quality assessment at the university level highlighted the need for a national quality framework for the entire ASEAN region, and this objective was reflected in the subsequent implementation of the ASEAN Quality Assurance Network (AQAN). The AQAN President from 2011 to 2014 was CEO of MQA and Executive Secretary was the Deputy CEO of MQA. As early as 2008, the ASEAN quality framework was developed in Kuala Lumpur in the form of the Bologna model and the development of a regional higher education area. The aim was to harmonize systems and processes and thus facilitate the recognition of qualifications and mobility (Lembaga Akreditasi Negara, 2006). Such objectives are manifested in promoting student mobility throughout the region: “AUN has established the ASEAN Education Credit System, a common framework for assessing student exchange applications” (Lek, 2014, p.